The overall experience can be vastly enhanced and NBA 2K23 can reclaim its position as the industry standard bearer for sports video games with only a few minor adjustments to the gameplay.
When NBA 2K23 is released later this year, as it always is, it will almost certainly be the basketball game that sells the most copies throughout the entire year. For the past ten years, NBA 2K has been the premier NBA video game franchise, and it is highly likely that this will remain the case moving forward. Despite this, many 2K players have recently voiced their concern that the franchise has reached a plateau. The yearly releases, as time goes on, feel less and less like new games and more and more like a slightly polished edition of the game that came out the year before. It’s a lot of fun to play through the different game modes, but the actual basketball gameplay needs a lot of work.
One simple solution would be to address the problems that have dogged the series over the past few years. The offense in the 2K series now feels fairly comparable to that of real NBA games, but the franchise’s defense has a long way to go before reaching that level. As soon as possible, a few adjustments need to be made to the gameplay of NBA 2K23 if 2K wants to avoid the same fate as its predecessor, NBA Live.
Blocks are the primary concern for NBA 2K and the one that needs to be addressed first. They are the most thrilling component of an NBA defense, but the franchise has not yet managed to replicate that excitement. In the National Basketball Association (NBA), players typically get blocks as a result of a great team and man-to-man defense, which forces a player to take a shot that they probably shouldn’t. The only type of block that users can consistently deliver in NBA 2K is a chase-down block, which, while exciting, is not emblematic of how it works in the NBA. In 2K, users can only deliver chase-down blocks. Even the players who have the highest ratings in NBA 2K find that their characters’ defensive reputations are not reflected in their actual play. When players make questionable choices on the offensive end, they should be blocked more frequently. If blocks are made more effective, the overall quality of the game will significantly improve, and players will be dissuaded from repeatedly pressing the dunk or layup button while driving the ball.
Take away the speed boosts
For those who are unfamiliar, speed boosts are arbitrary enhancements that can be found on the best NBA 2K dribble animations. These enhancements give players with high ball handling ratings the ability to move faster than other players. It is one thing for a player like Kyrie Irving to be quicker than his contemporaries; however, in the increasingly competitive MyPlayer mode, speed boosts have given certain NBA 2K player builds unfairly competitive advantages. In principle, each composition ought to have advantages over others; however, speed boosts have rendered smaller, more nimble players nearly unstoppable once they have achieved a high enough rating.
Shot animations are closely associated with speed boosts. In the past, 2K has given a significant advantage to shots that the game considers “open” or “wide open” over shots that are contested. Players have found ways to give their MyPlayer builds an advantage by selecting shot animations that are faster than others. This means that the offense can quickly get an open shot off without the defensive penalty if there isn’t a defender right in their face. NBA 2K23 needs to either completely do away with animation advantages or significantly reduce the impact those advantages have on gameplay.
Enhance the Controls Used for Defense
Anyone who has ever competed at a high level in basketball knows that the defense in 2K is not even close to what it is in the real game. In NBA 2K, the game considers a defender to be playing defense if he or she is in close proximity to the offensive players. The input that users provide on the controls has very little to do with how well users play defense, and more with the players’ defensive ratings. This creates an incentive for players who want to buy their way to good defense through the use of microtransactions. This is somewhat mitigated by the defensive badge system in NBA 2K, but the problem still stands. It is not enough for NBA 2K23 to simply make defense a game of proximity and 2K23 MT; it needs to include advanced defensive controls that call for a higher level of skill from players.
Make Rebounding A Skill
The 2K’s rebounding could use some significant improvements, much like the defensive controls or lack thereof; similarly, the 2K’s offensive controls could use some work. At the moment, a player’s rebound ratings are the only thing that matters in order to grab a board. This is to the extent that positioning and reaction to the ball have almost no effect at all. NBA 2K23 has the opportunity to finally make the improvements that fans have been wanting for years in the area of rebounding, which is just as much of a skill as anything else that is involved in the game.
On September 9, 2022, NBA 2K23 will be available for personal computers (PC), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.